Forsøksdyr: Does exposure to contaminants increase the cost of incubation? An experimental study in black-legged kittiwakes

Godkjenningsdato 15.05.2018

This is an experimental follow-up of the 2015 correlational study (FOTS ID 7670), which suggest that exposure to some legacy POPs may lower the ability of adult kittiwakes to properly incubate their eggs, possibly via a reduction of the size, and hence efficiency of the brood patch. In 2018, we want to test this hypothesis by experimentally increasing incubation effort (one artificial egg added to natural clutches). We predict that high contaminants exposure should lower the ability of birds to cope with increased incubation effort. We also want to study the long-term consequences of increased incubation effort on subsequent autumn migration. To do so, the migratory behavior of birds from the experimental and control groups will be tracked using geolocators. We study how Arctic seabirds are affected by pollutants in their natural environment, and this cannot be replaced by a laboratory- or non-animal model. A total number of 60 birds (15 males and 15 females from the experimental group; 15 males and 15 females from the control group) will be used to be able to answer the research questions. Reduction is ensured because we used the minimal number possible and we will focus only on the males for the GLS loggers. Refinement is ensured by using methods we master well, including using specialists, and we expect the distress to be little to moderate. This study is scientifically novel, because no study has investigated the potentially cumulative effect of contaminant exposure (POPs and Poly- and perfluorinated alkyl substances) and increased reproductive effort in free-living animals.